Why Is This Important?

As we know, a cat is very different to a dog, and has a range of specific needs that reflect this. While many cats are very confident, friendly and seemingly unfazed by our often busy and unpredictable lifestyles, others may sometimes struggle to live in an environment so different to that of their wild relatives. Your cat’s happiness is greatly influenced by how you behave and what kind of lifestyle you offer. By following the advice provided below, your cat has the best chance of having a happy and enriched life with you.

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【Where Do You Start With?】

1.Keeping Safe

While it is essential to stimulate and challenge cats within the home there is also a duty of care to keep them safe. There are many household appliances, features and products that could be potentially dangerous. It is important therefore to “risk assess” the home on a regular basis to keep these dangers to a minimum.

While discussing safety it is worth mentioning the greatest challenge to the cat’s perception of security in the home. If cats have any access outdoors it may be facilitated via a cat flap. Cats often see the flap as a vulnerable point in the defences of their home where any invader could potentially gain access. This can lead to a state of constant vigilance and uneasiness and a definite compromise to the individual’s sense of safety in the home.

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2.Providing Private Places

Taking time out from social demands is an essential part of everyday life for a cat so secret hideaways are an important facility. Provide a private and secure place for a cat to hide in or retreat to. Boxes, perches and cat condos are examples. These can also be created by making space available under the bed, inside cupboards or wardrobes or behind the sofa. If you make your cat’s private place a warm one too, like the bottom of the airing cupboard, you are providing five-star accommodation.

3.Provide An Environment That Respects Cats Sense of Smell

Cats depend on their sense of smell to make sense of their environment and perceive threats. Disrupting normal scent cues can lead to unwanted behaviors. Steps owners can take to address this need are avoiding scented cat litter, using synthetic pheromones to reduce anxiety, and avoiding cleaning areas facially marked by cats.

4.Offer High Resting Places

Cats are natural climbers and it is important for your cat to be able to rest and observe its surroundings from high places. This can be fulfilled with shelving, cupboards or other possible platforms. Any high resting places provided should be located in such a position that the cat is able to get down.

Tall cat trees are available as modular units and they are often floor-to-ceiling structures. Many provide platforms and enclosures for resting and represent challenging climbing frames, which have large areas where a cat can rest or hide in a high place. It may be necessary to place furniture nearby to give the cat a halfway platform for ease of access.

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5.Human-Cat Social Interaction

Provide positive, consistent and predictable human-cat social interaction. Don’t force interactions, but actions such as petting, grooming or playing with your cat reinforce bonds between you and your cat.

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